Sunday, March 3, 2013

Love Does

My latest book review: Love Does by Bob Goff, this is a book about action, about faith, but most importantly it's several stories about faith in action. Mr. Goff is interested in taking the Word, the Scriptures that people read and consume every day, and putting them into action. He takes the Word, spoken and written, to flesh, to doing. And I am incredibly grateful for this man's journey and that he gifted us all with the opportunity to grow because of it. Story after story after story, Mr. Goff takes the reader all around the word with a faith that is being worked out in amazing ways. Mr. Goff speaks of things he used to believe because of what he was told, what he has always been given, but then life, experience, and people begin to reshape what he used to think, to what he now believes. Because we live in a society that thinks a lot of things, and a society that loves to battle over issues, so it is now that this work is all the more needed and relevant. Because Mr. Goff is interested in telling stories that are real, they've happened, and they are beyond ideas about issues because they are about people. It's easy to argue logic around an issue, but Mr. Goff is about experience, about sharing what life does when it is lived to its fullest. I imagine there are some that would want more Scripture to be referenced, but I also think the people who want it referenced are the ones who already know where it is and they've read it a hundred times. This is a book about doing, about taking what you already think, and putting action to it. Powerfully inspirational and an incredible call to us, the reader, to live lives that do something, for everyone. We'll be changed, and so will others.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sex, Marriage and Happily Ever After

I'll be honest, I was reading this book along side of Mark Driscoll's book on marriage, as well as Tim Keller's book on marriage. This is book is very big step up from Driscoll's and a couple very small steps behind Tim Keller's. I very much appreciate Groeschel's priorities in encouraging following Jesus above all else. This book very encouraging to those who are single looking for love, to be fulfilled and devoted to Christ as the all relationships will flow from that relationship. I find that far too many single people put an awful lot of pressure on themselves to find "the one" as does our society. Groeschel does a great job of landing on the proper priorities, with humor, gentleness, and yet a firm truth. The humor, which I think flows from Groeschel being genuine, really helps move the book along with far more smoothness than Driscoll's book. The tone of this book is really helpful, especially knowing that is driven largely for those who are moving towards marriage. It did not take long for my wife and I to know we will be recommending this book to those looking toward marriage, or just wrestling with their singleness. Again, I highly recommend Tim Keller's new book, this book as well, and you really won't be missing anything if you skip Driscoll's book.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Honest, a nugget and a lot of messy opinions

This is a review of Mark Driscoll and his wife's book, "Real Marriage."

First the good, the Driscoll couple are very open, honest, and leave little out in their sharing. You can;t help but applaud them for this, and be grateful for their forthright expressions. I was pleasantly surprised with Mr. Driscoll's piece on "Tender and Tough," which didn't strike me as typical Mr. Driscoll. This was the nice nugget. These couple things climb the rating to where it is.

But then there are a lot of pages that made it a book, but didn't make it worth my time. The tone just grows real old, real fast. There is never any room for discussion with Mr. Driscoll, which i find so off putting. An example, he writes with language like, "The Bibles is very plain when it says..." and yet I find that is very plain to proving Mr. Driscoll's point but not necessarily being contextually plain. There are times in the writing where it is as if Mr. Driscoll thinks the Bible was written with white, middle class Americans as the model for marriage. If the Bible was written at the popularity height of The Leave it to Beaver TV show, then this book would climb a couple more stars in rating. But it doesn't take a Biblical scholar to know that the Bible was written a little further back than the 1950's. Again, I can appreciate the honesty of the Driscoll family, but when Mr. Driscoll self diagnoses himself with a sort of depression because of a lack of sex, that wreaks of chauvinism. My wife also read this book, and she is a licensed counselor, so this part really cheesed her off.

My wife and I are also reading to other marriage books, one by Timothy Keller and his wife and the other by Craig Groeschel, and both of them are significantly more in depth and carry more wisdom. I believe that is what we need more than anything with today's marriage, wisdom, rather than strong opinions.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lost and Found

With all of the stories and illustrations my hope is that the young audience will be drawn in and can grasp a fresh perspective on a rich and beautiful faith. That is my hope. As for me, being a little older, I felt the book was a bit unorganized and overly simplistic. I had to wrestle through it at times and wouldn't liked a bit more of a personal touch. Te author felt a little distant and came across as a teacher at times, rather than a writer. That worries me as well for the younger audience which is who Mr. Herd is targeting. I'm always hopeful for them!

I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for my review

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another great book by Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley continues to amaze me. He is crystal clear in his communication, and I believe he is one of the best communicators we have in the field today. In his latest book, "Enemies of the Heart," Stanley dives right into the crankiness that we all can find ourselves quickly slipping in to. The four biggest enemies are: anger, guilt, greed, and jealousy. Andy Stanley, as usual, lasers in on each hiccup of the heart and masterfully drills away on how we can chase our enemies out. This is a book inviting us to do some soul work. To canvas our hearts and drive out the things that keep us living from the place of our divine spark. I cannot recommend this book, and all of Andy Stanley's writings enough. If you feel your heart hardening, or your soul is catching a cold, then grab this book up for a good slice of the remedy.

Full disclosure, I received this book free from Blogging for Books

Solid, but lacking the usual creative spark

In Soul Print Mark Batterson takes on the task of helping people find their unique voice in the world. "What am I here for?" which people, and those in the church seem to struggle mightily with. I enjoyed the book, maybe more so because I am a fan of Batterson, and it could be that my fandom inched the rating up to 3 stars. I really enjoyed his other books, and this one seems a bit more preachy, as if it was more of a manuscript of sermons, rather than a work of literature. It didn't have that creative spark, often found in the finger tips of Mark's writing. He pulls from the life of David, but it feels a bit forced and less insightful than his previous writings. All in all, Mark is a pastor with a seemingly good heart and you will not go wrong with this book. But if you read his earlier writings first you might feel that there is a small hiccup in creativity and insight here.

Full disclosure, I received this book for free from blogging for books.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me

This has easily become a top contender for a favorite book of mine.

This book is incredibly well written, full of sly wit and sharp in its storytelling. Mr.Cron does not paint a dull or predictable Christian book, instead he writes in real life with all the flavor that life is served up in. I could feel the tension he had with his father, his desire to live in truth, and his journey to actually finding truth for himself. It is rare, sadly, to find a Christian perspective written about with such raw honesty, holding nothing back, and not injecting pithy Christian cliches into real life stories. This book feels so authentic, and yet Cron admits in the very beginning that this is written many years removed from the actual events. So he writes as he remembers events more so than identical fact. I believe this helps the author weave the book together almost flawlessly, and adds the perfect amount of wit and charm. Well done Mr. Cron, I hope there are many more books to come after this excellent entry.

I received this book from Book Sneeze for review, and yet I would pay the cover price in a heart beat!